French eyes in the sky to help Vietnam monitor the environment

By Anh Minh   September 6, 2016 | 03:19 am PT
French eyes in the sky to help Vietnam monitor the environment
Leaders of FPT Corporation and Telespazio France sign an agreement on the establishment of a new EarthLab in Vietnam.
The hi-tech center will be keeping its eye on rising sea levels.

A string of strategic partnership agreements covering the construction of an EarthLab center in Vietnam and two highway projects were signed between Vietnamese and French corporations this morning.

The agreements were among 20 important deals that Vietnam and France signed this morning on the occasion of French President Francois Hollande’s two-day visit to Vietnam that aims to bolster bilateral ties between the two countries.

The signing of the agreements at the Government House in Hanoi was followed by a ceremony attended by President Tran Dai Quang and President Hollande.

Representatives of FPT Corporation, a multinational Vietnamese IT company, and Telespazio France, a leading French company in satellite operator, signed a cooperation agreement on the establishment of an EarthLab center in Vietnam to monitor the environment by using data collected by satellites and other methods of observation for analysis. The joint venture between FPT and Telespazio France is expected to provide geoinformation with a view to proposing “advanced services related to risk exposure for insurance, strategic economic assessment and asset management concerns in the public and private sectors”.

Once established, it will be Telespazio France’s fourth EarthLab, besides the others located in France, the Republic of Gabon and Luxembourg.

Both sides also agreed to jointly collect and process data related to monitoring the sea and land via satellites to create products and services on a cloud computing platform.

Road to development

The Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) and France's VINCI Concessions Group have signed a cooperation agreement covering the joint development of concession schemes for road infrastructure currently operated by VEC. In addition, the two sides will exchange experiences in management and the operation of motorways, while considering technology transfer opportunities.

The VEC-VINCI cooperation agreement will focus on construction, financing and operation of new motorway projects involving the VINCI Group's concessions and contracting businesses.

Another highlight in the framework of President Hollande’s visit was a $6.5 billion deal signed by Vietnamese carriers Jetstar Pacific, Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air with French aviation giant Airbus.

Among the remaining agreements, Hanoi signed a service contract between Airparif, an organization responsible for monitoring air quality in the Ile de France. The purpose of the contract is to help improve air quality in Hanoi by setting up a monitoring system.

The French Development Agency (AFD) is also expected to provide a 52.5 million euro loan package and 1 million euros in non-refundable aid to help Vietnam’s central province of Ha Tinh, the northern province of Ninh Binh and the southern city of Can Tho fight rising sea level.

The AFD is also expected to contribute another 100 million euros this year and 50 million euros from 2017-2018 to help Vietnam deal with climate change.

French President Hollande touched down in Hanoi this morning to start a two-day visit to Vietnam from September 5-7

This is the first visit to Vietnam by a French president in 12 years. Hollande is the third president of France to visit Vietnam after the visit of President François Mitterrand in 1993 and President Jacques Chirac in 1997 and 2004.

Related news:

> French President Francois Hollande arrives in Hanoi

Vietnam carriers sign $6.5 bln, 40-plane deal

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